South African startups Newtech Rail and Adfire Creative M3dia’s iMORPH3D emerged the winner from the regional final of the Get In The Ring entrepreneurship challenge in Johannesburg last week, booking places at the global final in Colombia later this year.
Get In The Ring pits startups against each other in a boxing ring, with each entrepreneur having 30 seconds to pitch their businesses.
The regional final saw nine startups from across the southern Africa region pitch their business to a panel of judges and an audience of fans and investors, bidding for a place at the Medellin final.
The winning startups were Newtech Rail, formed last year, has developed three significant power line breakthroughs, and the iMORPH3D app, which allows users to create their own anamorphic 3D illusions, allowing events companies, advertising agencies or consumers to create new and exciting artwork.
Defeated startups were South African stokvel toolkit developers Stokvella, tourism industry player Tousca, Madagascan startup Amen Communications, Zimbabwean recognition software firm Enigma Solutions, Namibian organic and recycled materials to art startup Onyeka Craft and Jewelry, Namibian social enterprise Technical Basketball Academy, and Namibian human waste to fertiliser startup Lark Fertilizers.
“This event is not just about pitching for funding, it is also about pitching for attention. In the process running up to the finals, they will be exposed to thousands of potential partners and funders,” said Brian Walsh, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of The REAL Success Network, one of the partners for the event.
Steven Cohen, head of event co-sponsor Sage One International (Africa, Australia, Middle East, Asia and Brazil), said Get in the Ring was a great fit with its business and a “wonderful initiative” supporting startups.
“It is helping to encourage excellence and innovation among local businesses, and provide role models and inspiration for the entrepreneurs of the future,” he said.